Michael Robotham’s THE WRECKAGE

I loved this thriller and think it is possibly Michael Robotham’s best book. I have to admit I skipped his last book, BLEED FOR ME, as I’m not a fan of psychological thrillers and I almost missed this one but the rave reviews from customers in the shop convinced me to pick it up.

I was glad to find Vincent Ruiz as the main character (he does appear in one form or another in the other books). My favourite Michael Robotham novel had been LOST (aka THE DROWNING MAN). That novel opened with Detective Ruiz being pulled from the River Thames after being shot. When he wakes up he cannot remember the preceding weeks leading up to his shooting. He re-traces his movements and in the process re-investigates the case he was working and tries to fix the mistakes he made the first time around.

THE WRECKAGE is my new favourite. It is much more international in scope and is part-financial thriller, part-political thriller.  It is inspired by real events, in particular, the fact that since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 Baghdad has become the bank robbery capital of the world with millions (if not billions) of US dollars unaccounted for.

Robotham’s novel has two distinct plots. The first is a journalist in Iraq who is operating ‘outside the wire’. He is freelance and has no reason for still be ‘in country’. But for personal reasons he can’t leave. He starts digging into a series of bang robberies, that nobody else seems to be concerned about, uncovering a web of lies and cover ups.

The other part to the novel follows Ruiz, now an ex-cop, who is set up by a young woman and robbed. However her partner in crime is brutally murdered and it appears that they have inadvertently stolen something of high significance. Ruiz’s instincts get him mixed up in events as he tries to discover what is so valuable that people will kill for it. As both stories converge the conclusion will have you on the edge of your chair.

My favourite thriller so far this year has been Don Winslow’s SATORI. That was a classic Cold War thriller where loyalties were unclear. Michael Robotham’s THE WRECKAGE is equally as good and is a great thriller of our times, where loyalty is out the window and the lines between right and wrong a blurred by greed, violence and power.

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